An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Politics in Turkey is very different that I’m used to in Belgium or even Western Europe. And if for one thing being active in a European Political Federation is that is very informative about the sense of politics. Politics as in political parties. Politics as in a parliamentary democracy. Politics between right- and left-wing policies.
And in those things politics in Turkey is very different. In every sense.
It might be very strange to understand for anybody who is used to any kind of Western European kind of politics but it is so. I only hope that by writing this down I don’t seem too much like a spoiled Western European brat who knows things so much better. A kinder manner of neo-imperialism.
But things in Turkey are very different indeed. For one there seems to be no such thing as a difference between political parties. All of them seem to be very nationalistic minded, militaristic and conservative. There seems to be no such thing as a difference as in conservatives, liberals, socialists and progressives.
If there’s any difference then that should be that between black and white. There is no such thing as a grey area of politics. You’re either in favor or against. No middle way at all. And in such extremist surroundings it doesn’t even make sense to be grey. Not at all. No sense at all. Because that only confuses. And confusion in the field of politics, or for whatever else that matters is just not done in Turkish society.
This black or white thinking also makes it impossible to ever think about a parliamentary democracy. The closure of any Kurdish party (the only worthy opposition party possible) has shown this. Seven Kurdish parties have been closed down this way. Because they were against a majority thinking Because they were against a Turkish nationalistic approach. Because they defended a minority (maybe only the biggest minority in the Turkish Republic, but still). And this is unsettling in what should be considered a democracy. This is actually not even worth to be called a democracy when parties that stand up for minority rights are abolished just because of that. And all other reasons given are just crap.
Also the complete lack of something that could be considered a a left-wing party in the Turkish Republic is completely strange. Because no matter how progressive a party may seem here, it is always overshadowed by nationalism, by militarism or by clear racism. There is as such no such thing as critical thinking. And that is something that is needed to be left-wing, to be progressive. To be able to change.
And therefor I fear that this way of politics, that has drowned society, or that is maybe a result of the societies wishes, maybe never really ready for democracy. Or even the illusion of democracy. Because democracy as such takes courage to think differently. To be in acceptance of minimal change.
The only thing that matters is that you are able to tell yourself that you want it and that you want it irrevocably! What? That you want to take part in life, instead of being an observer; that you want to make decisions about when to say no to evil – in brief, that you will have civil courage at the appropriate moment.
Svetlana Broz – Essays On Civil Courage ‘Having What It Takes’
Posted in politics
Tagged activism, Bosnia, emotionales, Green, human rights, Love, minorities, politics, protest, Svetlana Broz, thoughts, Yugoslavia
Feeling wise it seems the best way to move on from Copenhagen is to state that whatever happened in Copenhagen should remain there. A secret. Something less than perfect that needs no attention. A failure of the worst kind. Something that was supposed to be so good but turned into humanity’s worst nightmare.
This should be kept under wraps. We’re humans as it is. We would like to cover things up. Not see the truth. Live in an illusion. An illusion that we might keep till things come falling, crumbled, down upon our own little not-understanding heads. Should we? Can we? Will we be able to?
The outcome of Copenhagen was disastrous. Fuck, it even was disastrous the whole 12 days it lasted. It was already when it started an atrocity. With the leakking of the ‘Danish Text’ it held the promise of a difficult and hard Conference. That whilst the survival of our climate had to depend on it. Yet the text made the Bella Center buzz with outrage and opposition, especially from the Global South witch would have been threatened in existence and development. The true hero that stood up against all this shit from the developed countries was the little island state of Tuvalu. Because the mere survival of Tuvalu depended upon a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement to come out of here. With the sea levels rising it is only a matter of a decade or so before the whole country of Tuvalu will be under the waves.
Many of these sad and depressing were being told inside the Bella Center by their delegates and civil society present there. How Climate Injustice also keeps gender injustice in powerful. How droughts were hitting parts of the African continent. How more than 900 million people depend upon the water of geltsjers that are now melting.
But all this apparently didn’t matter for those that were supposed to be our leaders. They kept distance. They kept silent. Or they kept on lying and making all these promises that they knew they wouldn’t keep. The EU and USA were cut out to do that job. They kept on skimming with malicious leaked texts, damaging meetings in Brussels and treating Global South and civil society delegates as trash.
They didn’t want to hear the facts, nor the voices of the thousands marching outside the Conference Center and all around the world on the 12th to ask for Climate Justice. They went on the path they most probably already agreed upon before. To screw the Conference. And they were helpfully assisted the officials of the UNFCCC and the Danish Police forces.
Any opposition to what was going on, anything that even smelled like what would take to fight Climate Change was crushed. Either by Civil Society’s delegate numbers being demolished, Either by the protesters outside being beaten up, arrested, Pepper sprayed or held in the cold for hours. Either by complete ignoring the Global South. Those ones that have caused this current climate crisis the least but will be affected the first and the worst.
They. The Developed Countries. The West. They have ridiculed any outcome of The Climate Change Conference. They have made it fail. They looked out for their own national best interests. The protection of their lifestyle. The safeguarding of their economies.
Could this be worth covering up?
Posted in politics
Tagged activism, Battal, COP15, emotionales, Green, personal, politics, protest, stupidness, thoughts, young greens
And it’s day 3 of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, better known as the COP15, held in Copenhagen till the 18th of December 2009.
Many things have already happened since we and the FYEG delegation have arrived. For more info one could turn to twitter and the FYEG Blog.
ANd we’re nearly there! Halfway at least. We’re sitting in the ICE Hamburg – Copenhagen. In the corridor since there seem not to be any places left on the train. We expected mainly activist on the train, but from the looks of it those are only a minority. Except if the 60 year old couples will turn out to be die hard activist. Who knows what they did in their golden days?
Well, let’s hope they are. Cause we will need every voice in Copenhagen to be loud and visible. From the looks of it also Copenhagen will be a failure for the Climate. Our so-called leaders are seemingly not willing to live up to the promises they have been making for the past year. They are slowly backing out of an agreement to be reached here., moving it up to 2010. But we know that in politics postponement means that there will be no agreement or a very weak one.
And we (the people and the planet) need a strong agreement. We need to stop climate change. It’s simple. It’s as simple as the survival as we know it now.
And therefor we need to raise voices. In Copenhagen. But also in our home countries. We need to pressure our governments into the necessity of this agreement. We need to say loud and clearly that this is a matter of utmost importance. That we need a change in their behavior, not climate change
Here we go again. We’re off to Copenhagen. Off to the COP15. The plan is to travel by train from Istanbul to Bucharest. From there to Budapest and then to Vienna and then to hitch hike to Copenhagen.
When I’m writing this we’re already on the night train to Budapest and it’s past midnight. We actually survived the 22 hour train ride from Istanbul to Bucharest and those hideous passport controls. Having a Belgian Passport indeed has its benefits. No visa trouble at all. The obnoxious border patrols asking over and over for my supposedly Turkish Passport witch according to them I should have when they see my name are just a minor trouble. More mental than actually physical.
For Esra, whom I’m traveling to Copenhagen with this is the first time she has actually left Turkey. Since she has a green passport it makes things with visa’s easier. She only had to apply for a transit visa for Bulgaria. But still.
We could see the suspicion in the eyes of those border guards. Why was this Turkish Girl traveling with this supposedly Belgian boy.
Additional questions were almost always asked. Like it was actually any of their business. But we complied. We wanted to get through in the end.
We wanted to reach Copenhagen before we got anything close to getting arrested or send back.
This of course doesn’t make this damned fortress Europe any better. Nor anything else that deprives us from the freedom of movement.
But these borders and visa shit make it nearly impossible to go to a climate conference in Copenhagen from Istanbul. Many other activists are taking the plane as they would loose too much time and money visiting consulates and begging for transit visa’s. You can say that it is not green or even mind-bobbling to fly to such an event, but as a privileged Westerner with a EU passport I really do not feel just to cast judgement upon that. Not everything is that black or white.
Of course I was kinda freaked out when a journalist from the Turkish newspaper Radikal called and told that we were most probably the only ones going by train from Turkey. You simply never would like to be one of the only ones doing something that crazy. But his first question after that was rather interesting. He asked why we wanted to go by train. As he really did not understand the reason behind it. But why not go by train? Isn’t it the most environmental manner to travel? Next to Hitch hiking?
To some it seems nearly an injustice not to use our advanced technology when traveling. They would nearly take it as an insult to travel by transport that is time consuming. But we’d rather do that then as it is less energy consuming and certainly less damaging to our climate.